Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
Early Childhood Education has a number of regulatory frameworks which we are guided by in our practice, in particular the Victorian Early Years Learning and Developmental Framework (VEYLDF) and the National Quality Standards (NQS). A running theme throughout both of these documents is the importance of developing collaborative relationships with families and our wider community. Over the past two years, the teaching team at Elonera has made it a priority to create opportunities for engaging our families in a number of ways, in order to strengthen our sense of community. After much discussion, we settled upon the idea of hosting 2 events each year that allowed families the chance to connect together in a social setting. We also acknowledged the enormous dedication and time commitments that our volunteer Committee of Management provide to the kinder, so it was important to us that these individuals also had the opportunity to engage in these events socially without the requirement of running it. So from this emerged our yearly ‘Movie Night’ where the teaching team supervise the children while adults are provided the opportunity to socialise together. We also created a ‘Winter Solstice Festival’ as a way of not only celebrating the shortest day of the year, but also to celebrate our wonderful community. The attendance to both of these events has been beyond our wildest dreams, and we are so appreciative of how our families have embraced these events, furthermore actively engaging in our community.
Another initiative Elonera has embraced this year is moving to an online documentation platform in ‘Storypark.’ It has been a fabulous tool for providing families a sneak peak into what the children explore, engage with and create during their time at kindergarten. It has allowed families to also engage with the learning, and we appreciate you taking the time to read, watch and comment about the fun and learning you see occurring. We also appreciate all the positive verbal feedback we have received, and continue to look forward to engaging with you in this documentation space.
Going forwards into Semester 2, we look forward to providing families the opportunity for ‘Parent Teacher Conversations’ so we can meet together to discuss your child’s learning, interests and future goals. In the 4 year old groups we look forward to venturing into the wider community and have scheduled 2 excursions to Chesterfield Farm and the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens. We also look forward to continuing our Bush Kinder program in the Koalas, and exploring our local community through walks and visits to the local shops.
The teaching team encourage you to come and see one of us if you ever have any questions, feedback or would just like to touch base. The life blood of a community kinder is the relationships that are developed not only between the children, but also families, the Committee and the teaching team. We are only ever as strong as the partnerships with create.
The Elonera Teaching Team